Thursday, February 9, 2012

Covington Journal articles on abolition and race

These come from the February 8, 1862 edition of the paper

Abolition Cowardice
The Chicago Times says "If abolitionism was not the embodiment of the meanest cowardice, it would not seek to introduce the black element into the war while the white population  of the loyal States is twenty-one millions against seven millions in the disloyal States. If we cannot whip out the rebels with these odds in our favor, we had better abandon the contest and plead guilty to the rebel taunt that we are an inferior people."

The Poor Negro
The Boston Herald exposes the fact that a notorious Abolition firm in that city, the members of which have sighed and groaned and cast up their eyes of the sufferings of the poor negro, until they have obtained a rich contract for supplying the army with drawers, are paying women sixpence a pair for making them. By hard word and over hours, the women thus employed can finish two pair a day. Twelve cents for a day and half a nights work! Oh, the poor, overtasked, suffering negro!

untitled article
A short-haired, thick lipped negro from Chicago was  hustled out of Kenosha in double quick time on Friday afternoon, for attempting to marry a white woman who came with him for the delectable purpose. The "roughs" got wind of the affair, and after (word missing, perhaps catching?) the darkey, escorted him to the depot, and gave him some good advice for regulating his conduct in such cases hereafter. 

As the train moved off bearing this colored Caesar minus his fortunes, we mused on the uncertainty of human affairs in general, and the absolute inconsistency of Abolitionists in particular. This poor fellow had heard of the social equality doctrines of Wisconsin Abolitionists, and was "stabbed in the house of his friends." After all, "blood will tell."  [Kinosha (Wis) Sentinel]


  1. These Democratic newspapers were a school for new immigrants in the ways of American race relations.

  2. Good point. I think articles like this are also good reminders to people today about the role of race/slavery/abolitionism played in everyday life 150 years. It's not that it does not matter today, but the comments about how the writers felt about African American were often so much harsher than anything any mainstream (or wanna-be mainstream) publication would present today


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